Equality gained through education is one of the main premises of the American Association of University Women Georgetown, according to the branch charter.
The organization has been contributing scholarships to young women bound for college since 2002, but in 2015 it revamped fundraising efforts, and as a result awarded $37,000 to 17 recipients over the past four years, member Mary Allen said.
Local seniors from Georgetown, East View and Richarte high schools are encouraged by school counselors to apply, and the AAUW values the counselors’ input, member Marsi Liddell said.
Between seven and 10 finalists are selected based on scholarship need, academic rigor and community support, and a panel of AAUW women conduct interviews to determine the winners. Typically three or four awardees are selected, Liddell said, but this year the group was unable to conduct interviews due to COVID-19, so all six finalists were awarded scholarships.
Part of the program’s recent financial success is due to rubber ducks, 300 of them racing down the San Gabriel River, to be precise. As part of the fundraising event, community members can purchase a duck for $10 each, with the total $3,000 going toward scholarships. The community has been supportive of the effort, and area businesses have contributed prizes for the race winners, Liddell said.
The fifth duck race will be held Oct. 10 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and tickets will be available for purchase in August.
Every year AAUW branch members enjoy a meet-and-greet with the new scholarship awardees.
“These women are extraordinary,” Liddell said. “They are majoring in aeronautical engineering, kinesiology, all kinds of psychology, art and more.”
She said each one is motivated, active in the community and a hard worker, and that she believes each young woman will be successful in her pursuits.
For more information on fundraisers or to learn about membership, visit https://georgetown-tx.aauw.net.
The American Association of University Women Georgetown branch members have been busy for nearly 100 years; here are a few highlights from what it refers to as “herstory.”
1921: The American Association of University Women begins.
1923: Jessie Daniel Ames, a charter member of the national organization, serves as the first president of the Georgetown branch.
1947: Membership encourages the study of Latin in high school.
1958-59: Williamson County schools were contacted, and children were brought to Southwestern University by members to see live theater; the program continues for several decades.
1974: The county approves a child welfare board to meet the needs of abused and neglected children after AAUW leads a petition .
1990s-early 2000s: Members provide Christmas presents for foster children.
2002: A scholarship fund for Georgetown High School graduating senior women going to college is launched.
2016: Those going to community college become eligible to apply for scholarship.
2018: Four women are awarded $6,000 in scholarships; Richarte High School seniors are eligible.
2019: A total of $12,000 in scholarships is awarded, with half coming from the W.D. Kelley Foundation.
2020: The fifth duck race fundraiser will be held Oct. 10.
2020 scholarship awardees
Richarte High School
Georgetown High School
Angelica Valencia Flores
East View High School